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Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

mattdm Re:Why "clear commercial use"? (108 comments)

It depends on whether they plan to use this feature to sell more TVs.

Merely allowing the site to be accessed through the product features is not commercial by itself, but if the links are included by default in a prominent place (and we know they will), that counts as product placement and branding; and it can definitely be considered a commercial purpose - people pay money to that kind of placement.

I'm not saying that this interpretation is necessarily wrong, but... it's quite wide in scope. It seems like you are saying that not only would hosting NC content on a site with ads be disallowed, but that merely prominently linking to such content from a site with ads would be disallowed, as would any advertising for any commercial software or hardware which implied that NC content could be accessed.

Furthermore, the suggestion that if some people sometimes pay for a particular activity, then all instances of that activity must be commercial in nature -- wow, now that has some implications!

about 5 months ago

Wikia and Sony Playing Licensing Mind Tricks

mattdm Why "clear commercial use"? (108 comments)

This is exactly the problem with "NC". To you, this is "clear commercial use". Is it because a big company is involved? Two companies? We assume money is changing hands, but... maybe it's not. The license says "primarily intended for or directed toward commercial advantage or private monetary compensation". What if the money goes towards "supporting the community"? What exactly is "commercial advantage" in this context? I'd have to ask a lawyer, and... unless I was paying them to advise on a specific case, I doubt they'd actually give a straight answer.

Overall, "noncommercial" licenses are problematic and should be avoided. I understand the intention, but it's hard to make a license that actually gets there.

about 5 months ago

Comcast Predicts Usage Cap Within 5 Years

mattdm Re:Editorial (475 comments)

I don't think it's size, exactly. The Boston urban area has roughly the same population as the Houston metro area (about 4 million), and we've got the 250MB data cap. And we even have (some) competition -- some of the richer suburbs have Verizon FiOS, and many neighborhoods (like mine) offer RCN (which, in my experience, is both faster and cheaper, but also more prone to outages).

about 6 months ago

Gracenote, Privacy, and the Rise of Metadata As a Valuable Asset

mattdm holding a grudge (33 comments)

Back in the 1990s, I helped run one of several mirrors for CDDB. When the company suddenly took a proprietary turn, they shut all of those down. They sent message promising to give some sort of reward to everyone who had run a mirror, but nothing ever showed up.

I guess a couple of million would probably make it up....

In seriousness, this was an early wakeup call about contributing to "community" projects without clear licenses for submitted data. And here I will put in a plug for FreeDB, which forked the original and continues to run it in an open way, with submissions under the GPL.

about 8 months ago

Lasers Unearth Lost 'Agropolis' of New England

mattdm Summary (and article's first paragraph) misleading (105 comments)

This makes it sound like a long-lost native civilization was discovered. Not the case. Early European settlers in New England devastated the native landscape and, basically, turned it into English sheep farms. As expansion pushed westward and agriculture shifted with it, that economy changed and native (and some invasive) species have reclaimed the landscape.

Still very cool and interesting, but a different story from what you might expect from reading the lede.

about 10 months ago

Red Hat To Help Develop CentOS

mattdm Re:Redhat/CentOS is no substitute for Ubuntu deskt (186 comments)

I feel your pain. I wish Fedora would go to a 9 month update schedule, it would make me happier.

We probably won't go to 9 months permanently, but it's very likely that Fedora 20 -> F21 will be along those lines as we retool for ideas, and work on improving qa and releng automation.

about 10 months ago

Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

mattdm Re:businessmen in software (74 comments)

I think we should focus discussion on the specifics of the guy's proposal.

Thanks, I appreciate that. :)

I could definitely have chosen "flexible" or "nimble" or some other random adjective. It didn't quite just pop into my mind, though -- I'm definitely familiar with the agile programming movement and have seen it in action in very positive ways. (I'm sure it can go horribly wrong, just like anything.) So, the title isn't completely an accident. I do want to evoke some of the agile manifesto: focus on interactions and individuals, responsiveness in the face of change, and so on. In general, I think we need to make some room for "worse is better" underneath the Fedora umbrella (while still keeping the core to a "the right thing" model) -- that's not agile in specific but is part of the same vein from which it developed.

about a year ago

Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

mattdm Re:Matt Miller is unhappy but unsure what about (74 comments)

Question all you like. I don't mind. However, I'd really prefer questions to the trolling. *

Which, given all the posts, by tibit, I have to assume is the case. If I were to take it seriously, though, I would say that probably what's happened is that much of the concrete part of the proposal uses labels which are unlikely to be familiar to someone not active in Fedora development (Fedora Formulas, Software Collections) without explaining them. You might know OpenShift, but "OpenShift Gears, decoupled" just sounds like gibberish. Even the term "base design" sounds vague but actually relates to a specific ongoing effort (

I didn't really think about how this would read to an outside audience, because Fedora developers are the intended audience, and because this is a presentation, not an in-depth white paper.

(* I know, I know, am I new here or what?)

about a year ago

Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

mattdm Re:Extra layers == epic fail (74 comments)

It would be hard to imagine a better recipe for epic failure. It seems that the proponents don't realize that the less baggage it carries, the more robust and easy to use a distro becomes.

I have to say, I'm not entirely sure you've read this proposal. Or maybe there is something that could be more clear? The audience here is really Fedora developers, so it's likely that some things aren't immediately apparent if you're more removed from that. Overall, this is a proposal for significantly less baggage.

And "excitement" is definitely not needed. An operating system isn't an electrical appliance needing new excitement and frills to shift product off the shelves each season. Boredom is a sign of stability and reliability, and those two are without doubt most important features a distro designer can provide.

Well, Fedora isn't ever going to be that completely safe kind of boring. For that, we have our downstream distributions, which are awesomely boring in all the way you describe. Fedora isn't supposed to be that, and is supposed to be in place where we are generating excitement, whether that's at the OS core or further out. But in general, the idea here is to separate out that "no frills" core from the language stacks and other areas where "be up to date" and "make available the exact things we need" are the demands. Then, we can address these needs differently.

If you're just interested in the base, awesome: we will put that together for you in a well-defined way and let you do whatever you want on top of that.

Having the separate ring 1 lets us focus on making that a coherent base which can be enhanced in an cohesive way which doesn't break everything for users as we go from release to release.

about a year ago

Fedora Project Developer Proposes Layered, More Agile Design to Distribution

mattdm Re:Extra layers == epic fail (74 comments)

I'd be excited if upgrades weren't an ugly afterthought. Y'know, because everybody has to do it at least once a year.

If it takes this 'ring' idea, to force the upgrade issue, and perhaps versioned packages outside of kernel-*, then I'll get behind it.

Good, because those two things are exactly what this is all about.

about a year ago

There Is No Reason At All To Use MySQL: MariaDB, MySQL Founder Michael Widenius

mattdm or sqlite (241 comments)

As a general rule of thumb, if you need something lightweight, SQLite is the way to go. If you need something more powerful or sophisticated than that, PostgreSQL.

MySQL and spinoffs all occupy an uncomfortable middle ground. 99% of the small web sites which are built around MySQL don't need it.

about a year and a half ago

A Proposal To Fix the Full-Screen X11 Window Mess

mattdm Sam Lantinga (from Loki Games) (358 comments)

I don't know if kids today remember, but Loki Games was one of the first commercial plays for big name games on Linux. Ended in tragic business troubles and financial doom.

It warms my heart to see that Sam Lantinga is still working on SDL.

That is all.

about 2 years ago

Comcast To Remove Data Cap, Implement Tiered Pricing

mattdm Re:I Hope Not (329 comments)

I really hope that people won't give in without at least expressing their anger to Comcast by finding another ISP if available, when they implement tiered pricing.

"If available" is the catch here. Comcast has a near-monopoly on broadband service in many parts of the country. Some places have the luxury of a second cable provider like RSN, but mostly, the other choice is more expensive and much slower DSL. Some places have Verizon FiOS, but apparently they're pulling back on that as well.

more than 2 years ago

Judge to Oracle: A High Schooler Could Write rangeCheck

mattdm Misleading title -- Judge didn't say that! (478 comments)

Title says implies that the judge made the statement about the code being trivial. The judge makes no such claim -- instead, he says that a previous Google witness made that claim. This is a world of difference!

more than 2 years ago

Why Are Fantasy World Accents British?

mattdm Because these fantasies are based on Britain (516 comments)

Westeros is transparently (if not particularly faithfully) based on a fantastic reinterpretation of Britain, right down to the the Wall and the . And all the knights and chivalery (and non-chivalery) and so on are clearly Arthurian legend, which is unquestionably British even if it owes a big debt to France — which, speaking of, is of course right across the "narrow sea". Middle Earth is less literal with the geography, but Tolkien has said (were it not already obvious!) that the Shire is rural Britain in spirit, so of course the hobbits speak with the appropriate accent.

more than 2 years ago



Update on (starting with "Why?")

mattdm mattdm writes  |  about 7 months ago

mattdm (1931) writes "In February, I gave a talk at DevConf in the Czech Republic about — background on where it came from, what problems it’s trying to solve, what we are actually doing, and why we think those things address the problems. Video is online, but there was a lot demand for a text version. So, I'm writing a series of articles based on the talk (with updates). The first part, which covers the background, is up now on Fedora Magazine."
Link to Original Source


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